Ned Vizzini: Writer

Author whose accounts of his battles with depression gave hope to young people who were similarly afflicted

Ned Vizzini was a popular young-adult author and television writer who wrote candidly and humorously about his struggles with depression. Vizzini jumped off the roof of his parents’ home in Brooklyn . His brother Daniel said he had fought mental illness for much of his life and had recently “taken a turn for the worse”.

Vizzini’s autobiographical novel It’s Kind of a Funny Story was adapted into a feature film of the same name. A resident of Los Angeles in recent years, he was a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction and spoke around the country about mental health and the healing effects of writing. On his website, he recommended Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon and the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness to readers coping with depression. “At his signings, countless kids would approach him to say that he changed their lives – he gave them hope,” his publisher Alessandra Balzer said.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story was praised by The New York Times as “insightful and utterly authentic.” It was written in a few weeks and published in 2006. Set in New York, and 85 per cent true, according to Vizzini, it told of an ambitious but overworked high school student who considers jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge and ends up in a psychiatric ward. The film version was released in 2010.

His other books include Be More Chill and The Other Normals, which told of young people who feel like outsiders. This year, he and film-maker Chris Columbus debuted a trilogy of young adult fantasy books, “House of Secrets.” The second is due to appear in March.  Vizzini also was working on the NBC series Believe, a project co-created by JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron. His other TV writing credits include Teen Wolf and Last Resort, while a musical adaptation of Be More Chill is in the works.

Vizzini grew up in Brooklyn and attended one of New York City’s most competitive high schools, Stuyvesant, the basis for the school in It’s Kind of a Funny Story. He had many influences, from Miles Davis to Stephen King, and as a teenager, an essay he wrote about adolescence was published in The New York Times.By the time he was 19 his first book had appeared: Teen Angst? Naaah ... A Quasi Autobiography. His work appeared in The New Yorker, Salon and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Asked why he wanted to be a writer, he replied: “I knew that I wanted to be a writer because I wanted to do something that had the potential to outlast my own death.”

Edison Price Vizzini, writer: born New York 4 April 1981; married (one son); died New York 19 December 2013.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee CAD Technician

£12800 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee CAD Technician is req...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000+

£15600 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This renewable energy installat...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Liverpool - up to £28,000

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss